SOS Launches 20th Anniversary Winter Season, Serves 4,533 Youth Nationally
PRESS RELEASE – December 5, 2013 – Vail, CO – As SOS Outreach launches winter programs this season, the organization is proud to celebrate 20 years of serving youth in Eagle County! Founded in 1993, SOS has served over 36,000 youth throughout the past 20 years, introducing participants to snowsports as well as the core values of courage, discipline, integrity, wisdom, compassion and humility.
During the upcoming season, SOS will serve 4,533 participants across program location in Colorado, Tahoe and the Pacific Northwest. Approximately 750 adult volunteers will support the curriculum nationally, leading students through the curriculum, encouraging goal setting, modeling the core values and having fun in the snow!
The SOS curriculum builds self-esteem and life skills through leadership workshops, community service projects, core value training, mentorship, and ride days. Each activity day is paired with one of SOS's core values, empowering students to make concrete connections between the core value and the day's sport.
In conjunction with the 20th Anniversary, SOS is launching a new high-intensity leadership development curriculum for long-term participants. The new Masters program is designed for participants who have already completed five years of SOS programming, and are looking for more ways to develop themselves as leaders in the community. 60 students have already started Masters program requirements this year – throughout the season they will practice mentor-based leadership capabilities, communication skills, self-directed goal-setting, and strategies for creating change in our community.
Also new this year, SOS has added humility to the core values students learn on the hill. The core values provide direction to SOS's curriculum, giving students the tools to make positive life choices. Participants come from a variety of backgrounds, including failing grades, low-income households, and single-parent families. Along with the opportunity to experience mountain sports, SOS mentors provide positive role models and encouragement these kids might not get anywhere else.
While the organization is excited by all the new programs and curriculum developments, the real excitement is due to the impacts SOS is seeing in participants. One long-term participant explained the positive effect the curriculum has had in her life: "Without SOS and the support that I received, I don't doubt I would have gone down the wrong path sooner or later. What [SOS gave] me is the path to success and change…Change is your future and the best way to predict your future is to create it."
All of this positive change is made possible through the support of community members who step up to be mentors and through the generosity of mountain partnerships. Executive Director Arn Menconi explains that "without the support we receive from the community this level of impact wouldn't happen. SOS is supported by industry leaders including Vail Resorts, K2 Sports, Seirus Innovation, SmartWool, 686, Optic Nerve, Sims Snowboards and countless other. It is inspiring to see the industry's and outdoor sport enthusiasts' commitment to youth over the past twenty years."
Founded in Avon, Colorado in 1993, SOS Outreach is a national youth development non-profit utilizing adventure sports to engage students who will benefit most from our leadership curriculum. The SOS program uses long-term mentorship relationships to encourage responsibility, self-confidence, service, and leadership. The SOS core values of courage, discipline, integrity, wisdom, compassion have inspired positive decision making for healthy and successful lives.
SOS Outreach Events During SIA
5th Annual SOS Outreach Youth Summit at SIA
- Saturday, February 1 at 8:30 a.m.
- In the Colorado Convention Center Lobby
- Over the past years, SIA and the Youth Summit has become an opportunity for industry leaders to acknowledge the efforts of non-profits and corporations that collaborate to get America's children off the couch, out of the city and into the outdoors playing on mountainsides.
- Fifty participants from SOS Outreach will be on-hand as David Ingemie highlights SIA's commitment to getting today's youth outdoors because it is imperative to the continuation of snowsports and to the physical health of today's youth.
- In addition, SOS Outreach will award the Corporate Social Responsibility and Lifetime Achievement awards for individuals who are making a positive difference for youth.
5th Annual SOS Shootout Hockey Game
- Fifth annual Shootout Hockey Game is set to kick off the first night of the tradeshow in Denver, Colorado.
- This year at the Pepsi Center following the Av's vs. Wild game.
- The game starts at 7 p.m. with a 9:45 to 10:00 p.m. start for the event
- Thursday, January 30th
- Featuring snowboard and ski industry heads from the US and Canada, the shootout is open to anyone who can skate hard.
- $20 includes a ticket to the Avs/Wild game in addition to attendance at the Shootout game.
- Silent auction and proceeds from the ticket sales will go directly to SOS Outreach program growth.